Spotting a leader

Synopsis -  Effective 'leaders' know what quality is and feel a sense of responsibility for achieving quality.  If a person waffles, waivers or avoids discussing quality, chances are they will not make an effective leader. It's pretty clear that project success rates are higher where projects have effective leadership and lower where there was either no leader, or where those in the leadership roles didn't discharge their duties effectively.  Effective leaders align people, focus people a...
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British Columbia – First time home buyers loan program

The following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed or troubled projects from around the world. BC Provincial Government – Canada Project name : British Columbia Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership program Project type : Government backed loan program to help first time buyers enter the real estate market Date : Cancelled Dec 2018 Cost : Unknown Synopsis : Between 2002 and 2017 residential property prices in the city of Vancouver, Canada w...
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Agile’s Achilles heel

From its birth in the software development community, the idea of ‘agility’ has risen in prominence to the point where organizations of all shapes and forms are now leveraging agile principles (or at least trying to).  Since being conceptually formalized in the 2001 ‘agile manifesto’ the ideas have matured to the point where agile practices have worked their way into the mainstream of the Project Management Institute’s PMBoK® Guide. As I’ve written about a number of times, agile concepts are ...
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International Donor Agencies – Africa

Following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed and troubled projects from around the world. International Donor Agencies – Africa Project type : Boreholes and wells (developing community water sources) Date : Jul 2016 Cost : $360M Synopsis : One of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) is to increase access to clean water and sanitation facilities for communities that currently lack such facilities. In many rural areas of sub Saharan Africa...
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Jacques Cartier Champlain Bridge Corporation

Following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed and troubled projects from around the world. Jacques Cartier Champlain Bridge Corporation – Canada Project type : Highway overpass construction Date : Oct 2016 Cost : $11M CAD Synopsis : Taxpayers often feel that their hard earned dollars aren't being respected by the government officials charged with spending those dollars. In a story that feeds into that narrative, the city of Montreal has recently co...
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St Helena Airport

The following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed or troubled projects from around the world. Organization: Department for International Development (DfID) - UK Project type : New airport Date : Jun 2016 Cost : £285 million Synopsis : Wind shear is one of the most deadly atmospheric conditions an aircraft can hit. A significant and rapid change in wind speed, or direction, over a very short distance, wind shear is especially dangerous when it happ...
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RIP Ideas

An organization’s future prosperity is of course directly correlated to its ability to remain relevant in the market place.  As we all know, to remain competitive organizations need to both innovate and invest. They need to stay in tune with their customers, be aware of shifting trends or disruptions and maintain a level of situational awareness that supports effective decision-making.  Most organizations are aware of those basics and CEO’s make efforts to stay on top of them. The “value” creati...
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Culture’s Cogs – Feedback

Synopsis: Feedback is the mechanism that keeps a culture alive...  This post is part 4 in the Cultures Cog’s series of posts. Click here for – Part 1 In the two prior parts of this blog series we looked at the role "imperatives" and "expectations" play in giving rise to a culture. In this final post we'll look at how feedback is the link that keeps a culture alive. Feedback is the interaction between people that tells them whether or not expectations are being achieved. Feedback can eit...
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Volkswagen

The following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed or troubled projects from around the world. Organization: Volkswagen Group (VW) Project type : Vehicle emissions system Project name : Unknown Date : September 2015 Cost : Potential costs in the region of $18B Synopsis : Arguably one of the most expensive scandals in modern corporate history, the revelation that Volkswagen cheated government emission testing has shaken people's confidence in a onc...
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Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality

The following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed or troubled projects from around the world. Organization: Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality (NMBMM) – South Africa Project type : Metro bus purchase Project name : Integrated Public Transport System (IPTS) Date : February 2015 Cost : R2 billion ZAR (approximately $130M USD) Synopsis : The purchase of 60 buses at a cost of R100 million (ZAR) has left the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan M...
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